The third nominee in the HISTORICAL FICTION category is the beautiful story of a young woman, Helen, caught up in the maelstrom that was the rise of the Nazi’s in Germany and her time in the most notorious of the death camps, Auschwitz. It is THE SEVEN YEAR DRESS by PAULETTE MAHURIN.
I like to think that I have been greatly blessed recently.
As a history buff and someone who adores historical fiction, I have read some of the most amazing, diverse and exciting historical fiction in recent times. In the last few months alone, I have read three books set during the Nazi reign of terror, each one of them very different and each one of them equally superb. From Christoph Fischer’s Ludwika to Ellie Midwood’s Standartenfuhrer’s Wife and Gruppenfuhrer’s Mistress, I have been a happy little camper. Well, add now to that impressive list, The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin.
Each of these three authors has produced books on the same time period, but each from their own unique perspective and viewpoint. In Ludwika, we saw a young Slavic girl trying to survive amongst the Nazi invaders. In Ellie Midwood’s two stories, we followed young Jewess Annalise as she not only married a man high up in the Nazi Intelligence Service but then used that position to spy on the Nazis for the Americans. Fantastic books all of them.
In the Seven Year Dress, we confront the very worst of the Nazi atrocities and Mahurin confronts it head on, through the eyes of Helen, a survivor of the infamous death camp that was Auschwitz.
We first meet Helen, as an old lady, who needs to tell her story to her new boarder. Traveling back in time to Berlin in the mid-1930’s we see a young Jewish girl, about to flourish into womanhood, as the Nazi’s come to power in Germany and the atrocities against the Jewish people and other “undesirables” begin.
After four years of hiding in an abandoned farmhouse basement, with only her brother Ben for company, the pair is finally arrested, by the dreaded Gestapo and transported to Auschwitz, where somehow Helen manages to stay alive through the hell that was the “Death Camp”.
This book will make you cry, it will make you scream at the sheer brutality and inhumanity of the German soldiers but it will also fill you with wonder and hope and faith in the indomitability of the human spirit. Reading this book you will traverse the entire gamut of human emotions – it is that good.
It isn’t necessarily an easy read. The violence and hatred are brutal and Mahurin pulls no punches in describing it, but the strength, the humanity and the sheer determination to survive shown by Helen and some of the other inmates will shine through like a beacon.
I can say easily, few books have touched me emotionally as much as this one has. Paulette Mahurin, in my book you are a superstar author who deserves mass publication.
As an aside and not taking away from the book in any way, it is fascinating to draw parallels between the behavior of the Nazis in the 1930’s and by association, most average German citizens, and the events we see currently happening in parts of the world today. We should learn from history, not repeat it. (No need to elucidate on that!)
Thank you for a book that will live long in my memory.
So there we have it, four uber-talented authors, all of whom are the match of ANY legacy published author out there and six incredible books – Who’s the winner of this year’s Award for Indie Author Excellence? God, this was such a tough category, but in the end, I’ve got to go with my heart and give the award to the book that made the biggest overall emotional impact on me and that was (Drum Roll Please…)
THE SEVEN YEAR DRESS by PAULETTE MAHURIN
After the often gut-wrenching pain and angst of Historical Fiction, our next award to be handed out, should lighten things up a bit. Next up in the Grunter’s is the HUMOUR category.
Till then, have a wonderful, peace-filled day!
CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY!
EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITIES LIFE PRESENTS TO YOU AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
HAVE A GREAT LIFE AND SPREAD THE LOVE!
CHANGING THE WORLD – ONE READER AT A TIME
For entire post and to meet the author nominated authors and their books click on link: https://niume.com/post/199277
Last December I wrote about three authors who had created three totally captivating Private Eyes to add an extra sparkle to the festive season. The authors were all Indie (independent) writers, self-published on Amazon, and, like their heroes, were all men.
Of the 120 or so books I’ve read this year, there are three I’d like to get passionate about. The authors this time are women, two of them Indies, one traditionally published. For two of them, it was their first novel.
As 2016 draws to a close one thing is sure. Many books will be written about a year which has been so dark. The great political divides, the crises in Europe, the USA, the Middle East, the terrifying rise of terrorism. But of the novels that will emerge from these events, how many will manage to take a step back from all the upheaval in order to transcend what is local and temporal and show us something more important, something deeper and more universal?
What is striking about the first two books on my list is that they manage to do just that. The first is a historical novel with a specific time and setting, the Second World War. The second is more generic, an imaginary time in a war-torn country without a name. But we know that the author is Lebanese and that the book comes out of her experiences of ‘a country under siege’.
Dear Reader, I can see the frown lines appearing. All you want for Christmas is a book of really bad jokes or yet another James Patterson or a bit of romantic fantasy to waft you to a tropical island with a George Clooney/Dakota Johnson lookalike covered in sun oil. You don’t want to get into something serious, something that’s going to depress you even more than the news. But that’s the thing about these books. If you give them a chance, step out of your comfort zone, you’ll end up with a feeling that’s the opposite of the despair that’s seemed to dominate this year: a feeling of Hope.
The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin
In May I saw that Paulette Mahurin had published a book called “The Seven Year Dress”, based on a true story about the Holocaust. Did I really want to plunge once more into the unspeakable events of that time? I did, because I had been knocked for six by her 2015 historical novel about the Dreyfus Affair (another time of bitter divisions) “To live out Loud”. Reading her new book I felt as overwhelmed as with the previous one, a feeling shared by readers everywhere to judge by the reviews, and culminating, in November, in the author winning the McGrath House Independent Book Award for Historical Fiction.
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